Children can not be separated from the severe impact of isolation for the past 3 years. What mental changes may a child experience during a pandemic?
If you can choose, in the period of development, it feels like children do not deserve to be exposed to a big slap pandemic. Although there are also positive changes in the child as a result of this extraordinary situation, but still, the “loss” is more.
A friend of the story, her son with special needs so it was difficult to go to therapy during the pandemic. As a result, there is regression in the child. Other friends feel the same way, since school at home, the child’s language skills decreased due to not socializing with his friends outside.
That’s new in terms of cognitive. Other children have felt so easily anxious since family members were tested positive for Covid-19. In another story, my relative’s son becomes more temperamental during a pandemic. Those are some examples of how pandemics have an impact on a child’s mental changes; And it is very likely that this impact will last in the long run. Everything (probably) will never be the same again.
Experts observed that children have experienced mental health challenges throughout the pandemic. According to Jac.w director of mental health services , in some children, these challenges are temporary and will subside when the pandemic ends. But in some other children, this effect can last a long time.
In line, licensed clinical social worker , explained that trauma and the long-term implications of the pandemic may not be fully understood by children.
Jac, and other experts share some of the mental changes parents may encounter in children after a long pandemic situation.
Understand the meaning of loss
News of the number of deaths due to Covid-19 inevitably exposed children as well. Some children may lose close relatives, family members or friends and friends. In a short time, children have to process what it means to lose. It could be their first experience facing the death of a loved one. They come to understand what sorrow is, deep sadness and all forms of feelings that come with it.
In addition to the loss of a loved one’ s death, children may also feel sad about the loss of experiences and opportunities. Lost opportunities to work, play, explore, try new things and so on. Parents should help their children cope with grief and understand that it is all part of the human experience. In the end, experiences and circumstances make children learn to embrace a loss. It will make them stronger.
Susceptibility to mental health disorders
A report from Save the Children,USA, found that the Covid-19 pandemic had a “devastating” impact on the emotional health of American families and children. I’m sure this is happening almost all over the world, not least USA.
According to Psychotherapist N.McDermo , susceptibility to anxiety-based disorders such as eating disorders and other mental stresses in children and adolescents is increasing. Parents need to respond to this by providing children with effective support and positive skills so that they are able to manage challenges and learn to be more resilient.
3 years in isolation, children may have to struggle with social anxiety to return to their communities again when the pandemic is over. Especially children who have issues in terms of social skills. Before the pandemic alone, they needed “warming up” to mingle with friends. Especially not seeing each other for a long time? They again become awkward and have to re-hone their social skills to fit in.
Various health protocols that must be adhered to can also have a long-term impact on some children. There may be an increase in anxiety disorders will contract the virus, get the disease. Worried about exposure to Covid-19 after seeing the number of people who died or were seriously ill from the virus. We need to give children the understanding to stay alert and maintain health, without the sense of alertness itself developing into excessive anxiety that eats away at their mental health.
The education gap is getting sharper
For families who are able to facilitate the child’s needs for school or online tutoring, maybe their child’s education can still run safely and smoothly. While children from pre-prosperous families, who live in remote areas, difficulty connecting, do not have supporting facilities, parents do not have the ability to teach children at home, and a myriad of other factors, in the end there are those who do not continue school.
Not to mention children with special needs or previously received outstanding education or inclusion schools that require shadow teachers during learning. Their cognitive and academic development can be lagging behind. In short, the educational gap due to the pandemic to children’s education can become even worse.
Feeling positive change
Apart from the various mental shocks that children can experience, there are also positive impacts of pandemics. One of them, the child so have a lot of time with family. In some children there are also mental changes such as being more patient and learning to accept difficult circumstances. Learning to live is simpler and not consumptive because there is no need to spend every weekend to the mall or travel. Celebrating a birthday with family only, there is no need to be luxurious. Feeling that the video call is so exciting.
Increasingly empathize and connect to others
It turns out that pandemics also foster empathy globally. Trauma from Covid-19 is felt by children almost in various parts of the world. So, the kids aren’t alone. Those who grew up in pandemic times have similar experiences.
They also learn to empathize with friends who feel lost. Connecting with family or relatives who live far away is also getting easier through an internet connection. This situation also allows children to participate in activities from outside the city or abroad because it is only limited by gadgets.
The child’s self-toughness increases
Despite all the bitterness and horror of the pandemic, the good news is that humans in general, including children, are essentially formidable creatures. This toughness is further honed during pandemics. We can also see how children learn to cope with many unexpected changes and challenges. Although not all experiences are positive, but still encourage great growth and resilience in children.
As parents, we need to take steps to safeguard children’s mental health and well-being, in order to mitigate some of the effects of long-term child mental changes from this pandemic. But before, we also need to maintain our mental health, in order to stay sane accompanying children. So that in the end we can say: my son is getting tougher and more positive, thanks to pandemic! Come on, can you, parents.